University College London Hospital| Photograph by Elza Lopes
Party leaders failed to address key NHS’ issues in health and social care on their election campaigns.
UK’s main parties have made numerous promises to pour into the NHS funding and extra staff, however, concerns grow as “no credible answers” have been offered to deal with issues affecting the healthcare system, Chris Hopson, Chief NHS provider said.
All main parties have made pledges on their manifestos to increase expenditure in the healthcare system, with emphasis on increasing NHS funding and workforce.
The Conservatives have promised 50,000 staff nurses and 50 million GPs surgery appointments. In contrast to Labour which promised 24,000 more nurses, its manifesto top priorities also feature, reducing patients’ charges, investing in workforce education and reinstate bursaries.
The Liberal Democrats promised to raise NHS’ social care revenue by £7bn a year and develop a new strategy to address workforce issues.
In a recent interview with the Independent, Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, criticised the three major political parties for “the way the NHS have been used during the election” thus failing to address the sector’s major challenges as in the case of the workforce shortage.
Goddard, further added that some promises by the parties were not realistic.
Labour, proposals to train 5000 GPs according to the doctor, would significantly impact the number of physicians training in psychiatry and emergency medicine.
As for the Conservatives, the proposed increase of 6000 additional GPs by 2024, the doctor stated that the plan is not possible without “flooding” the trainee system with overseas doctors, as reported by the Independent.
NHS logo| Photograph by Elza Lopes
A nurse, from the University College London Hospital (UCLH), who chose to be anonymous said:” It’s all politics when it comes to implementing the promises made by politicians. At this point, I have nothing more to say.”
Concerns over the credibility of parties’ promises are not only limited to health professionals and support staff but also the public who are most likely to be affected by the policies.
Maria Briffa, an English Literature student, said: “I feel a lot of the time, politicians don’t do a lot of things they say.”
Briffa added: “For instance, if you go to A&E you end up waiting a long time and that’s any issue.”
Another Londoner, Charles Duah, a Driving instructor said:” They [politicians] make all these promises and once they get in power, they forget everything.”
Duah added: “Doctors should be encouraged to do what they do. Last time I went to the hospital, I had to wait four hours, that isn’t good.”
As people prepare to vote on Thursday, 12 December, politicians are urged to do better and address issues that matter to the whole society, if the NHS is to function as promised.
Note: not all NHS areas were covered in the infographic due to space constraint.
For full information on the parties’ pledges, please, refer to the parties’ manifesto.
Words, Still images and Infographic: Elza Lopes